So we caved and bought a travel trailer like everyone else. Oh, the excitement and expectations that come with such a purchase. We bought enough things to fill a house for this tiny home on wheels. Then we took it out for its maiden voyage at Clear Lake Campground. Lisa Wilson, the second-generation owner of the campground, was celebrating her birthday, and anyone with an RV was invited to stay the night. We had all the confidence in the world that we were more than ready for this trip.
Our friends eagerly greeted us when we arrived. David backed that trailer up like a pro as if he’d been doing this all his life. But, unfortunately, that’s when our confidence ended. “Oh, you need a water filter,” a friend suggested item number one before we had even unlocked the camper door. “And don’t forget a surge protector,” added the second friend as David fumbled with all the cords and hoses to hook up. Before we knew it, David was texting himself messages, and I was frantically writing my list of must-haves items that we never knew we needed before this moment.
Now don’t get me wrong, many of these items were essential, but not all of them. Very soon, we both experienced camper envy. We didn’t have suitable chairs, yes, chairs. An outdoor rug is essential for that home-away-from-home experience and for keeping your home on wheels clean. We didn’t have flags, lanterns or stringed lights. And what about food nets to keep flies away? We needed one of those too. The list grew and grew. We couldn’t believe we bought a camper without a slide-out on purpose. We figured there would be fewer things that could break down the road. But now it seems we were wrong in that decision. We didn’t even have an attached outdoor sink, refrigerator, and BBQ. What were we thinking when we bought it? And here we thought we had just made a massive upgrade from tent camping. The reality is that we had morphed into a new definition of camping. We still had our sleeping bags, for goodness sakes, instead of fashionable bedding to match the interior of our RV.
Luckily our friends were accommodating and generous, sharing odds and ends that we forgot to pack, such as ice of all things. I mean, how do you forget ice when camping? The good news is that camping at Clear Lake Campground has many advantages. I am confident we would have made multiple trips to Walmart had it not been for our friends’ kindness and generosity. By the early morning of our second day, we had already made our first Amazon order and worked on a second list. In the end, we had so much fun at Clear Lake Campground that we booked a second trip with the kids.
Here’s a little of what you can expect:
Being so close to the heart of Clearlake, you don’t have to cook a single meal if you don’t want to. We took full advantage of that convenience more than once. In addition, Clearlake offers other diversions such as miniature golf and a local cinema.
But the real charm of Clear Lake Campground is its location. Situated on the bank of Cache Creek, it is a fishing dream come true. Cast a line from the tailgate of your RV, grab a beer, and you can do all your fishing from your chair. Or get a feel for Cache Creek by renting one of their kayaks and exploring. Multiple birds congregate in the wetlands, making it a birdwatching paradise. In the evening, be sure to grab some firewood and enjoy a campfire in the designated areas for the perfect end of your day.
If the afternoon gets a little hot, you can always cool down in the pool conveniently located next to the office. Just off the pool is a ping pong table begging for your time and attention to play a round or two. If tent camping is your thing, you can choose to bring your own or take full advantage of the three permanent glamping tents available.
Be sure to pop in the store where you can pick up some ice, cold beverages, novelty ice cream, or a souvenir. It’s worth the stop just to step back in time. Lisa has kept the now antique refrigerators, freezers, and shelves. Back in the day, this store served as an essential grocery store for both campers and residents.
Whether you stay for a night or a week, the campground’s always inviting, welcoming, and a perfect retreat from the worries of the world. Pull into your spot, connect to one of the full hookups, and kick back for a while.
7805 Cache Creek Way, Clearlake, CA 95422